Project activities in Khammouane are taking off
Our Nutrition and Food Security Project Team has jumped into action after the MoU for the project was signed at the beginning of this year: Over the past couple of months, the first project activities have been implemented. First and foremost, the core team have been travelling from District to District in Khammouane Province, conducting meetings with Provincial and District authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At these meetings, project staff were introduced and the project’s activities, goals and expected results were presented to and discussed with local authorities. The authorities expressed a strong interest in staying updated on project progress, and reminded the implementing partners of the importance of focusing on sustainability in their work. For instance, they see it as very important for farmers to become active participants in training activities instead of passively receiving knowledge or handouts.
Speaking of training: Another key activity was to recruit and train new members of the Humana family. For two weeks, more than 30 people including Farming Instructors, Project Managers and other project staff, also from our implementation partner Health Poverty Action, attended an intensive theoretical and practical training workshop in Thakek. Participants learned about Humana as an organization, the project’s background, activities and expected results, and of course the Farmers’ Clubs approach as their key tool of achieving these results. Now, the Farming Instructors have already been assigned to their respective target villages and have found homes all over the six Districts in which the project is taking place. Humana believes that the most sustainable and effective results of development projects are achieved by staff living directly in the communities they work with. In this way, they establish relationships of trust with villagers and get to know the local context. As much as possible, project staff are also recruited from the target areas in order to train locals themselves. They are thus empowered to carry activities forward even after projects have formally finished.